Skip to main content

tv   Today in Washington  CSPAN  December 9, 2009 6:00am-7:00am EST

6:00 am
battalions and brigades, and they deploy large units. when we're talking about individuals, when we're talking about we're talking about an individual from the federal bureau of investigation so against that, now if we do go to the build-up of civilians that occurred over the past 12 months or by the end of january of next year we will have had a three-fold increase of civilians on the ground in afghanistan. by military standards a three-fold increase is extraordinary and even more extraordinary for civilians. do we have enough on the ground now for the present missionñii]t we have by the endñi of janupyñ we'llñi have what's needed. we will have to grow further now with the decision that the president's made for the strategy where we have 30,000 more troopsñi coming in, that wl mean that we'll have additional requirements on the field if we meet those. .ñiñr example of
6:01 am
civilian effects we're achieving. right now in hellmon province where general mcchrystal forces are operating, in one district in the province, we have one agricultural expert that's operating there. he is leveraging then an organization of several hundred afghans who are implementing, and they are providing then for a voucher program of agricultural assistance, for some 14,000 afghan farmers. some 14,000 afghan farmers. i want to emphasize that one well-placed civilian in afghanistan gets tremendous effects. we're not talking about the need
6:02 am
for tens of thousands of civilians. >> thank the gentleman. >> thank you, mr. chair. i just want to ask both of you, particularly, i guess, ambassador, about agriculture. a fax released by the white house last tuesday states, and i quote, our top reconstruction priority is implementing a civilian military agricultural strategy to restore afghanistan's once vibrant agriculture secretary, unquote. now, having visited one of the national guard's agricultural development teams in july when i was last there and saw you, and thank you very much for hosting our delegation, i believe that redefining and growing the afghan economy will be key to stabilizing the country and eventually allowing our troops to come home. does the president's strategy
6:03 am
entail an expansion of the number and the location of these adts, these agricultural development teams? >> congressman, i would like to get back with you on that. i'm not sure what the projected growth of the agricultural development teams are. i will say on the department of agriculture front, though, there's a very substantial increase that's going on. we started with very few on the ground this year, and over the course of the next several months, we will have about 65 department of agricultural experts, 5 working in the minister of agriculture, all of the rest out in the field aligned with general mcchrystal forces. >> the number i had was 60. so it's 65 then. as far as you know, there's no projection to go beyond that 65 anytime soon? >> we'll reassess that, congressman. that's an impressive delivery from the department of agriculture. they're going to get great
6:04 am
effects. i know when i'm traveling out with the military, if you ask commanders in throughout afghanistan, you ask them what they could use more of, sometimes they'll say they can use agricultural expertise before they can use more military forces. >> i was there, as you know, with congressman ellsworth from indiana. the indiana national guard are doing a fantastic job out in the east where we were visiting at that time. i'm hopeful that the iowa national guard may be able to stand up to something like this as well. i have a lot of confidence in vilsack's ability. you've spoken with him about this, correct? >> i just spoke with him yesterday, and he's extraordinarily supportive of these efforts, and we're hoping he's going to be making a trip out to afghanistan here in january. with 80% of the afghani economy tide to agriculture, if we're going to make a dent in possible insurgent recruits, if we're
6:05 am
going to get after this narco trafficking problem, if afghanistan's going to have long-term economic sustainability, agriculture's key. that's really our focus. >> i agree. thank you. and general mcchrystal, obviously there's a security component to this as well. obviously these adts and other civilian projects will be linked closely to military action. so the security is gained, the adt, the prts, which i think is a misnomer, i agree with my colleague from georgia, that they follow close behind to help this whole build-and-transfer strategy we're talking about. could you elaborate a little bit on that? the security and agricultural development? >> absolutely. in fact, they follow in time very closely behind security. but they actually increase security. once you increase agriculture in most cases, but also any kind of employment, what you do is take fighters off the battlefield, or you take potential fighters off. because unemployment is the
6:06 am
biggest recruiter for the taliban right now. so the ability to get back the fabric of life, when people have something to lose, they are much less interested in having insecurity in their area. so it's what makes security durable. >> thanks to both of you. in my remaining time, i guess i just want to make a comment about the pakistan connection here. because obviously i'm a little bit -- still a little bit confused as to sort of what our strategy entails with respect to pakistan. i understand there's only so much that can be said in open session. i'm looking forward to the hearing. i thank the chair for that this afternoon at 3:00. but i have a lot of the same concerns about pakistan, i should say, that my colleagues do on both sides of the aisle. and specifically, how it is the case that in the near term, and going forward, our strategy is going to deal with the problems of pakistan. i understand entirely the
6:07 am
sovereignty issue. obviously pakistan is a sovereign nation state, just like the united states is. we have to be careful about our cross-border operations. but at same time, if we are really looking for a long-term solution, pakistan's going to be absolutely critical. thank you for your time. >> thank the gentleman. mr. wilson? >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you, general, ambassador for being here today. i also want to thank you for your hospitality and briefings as i was with you in august. i'm very grateful to be the co-chair of the afghan caucus, so have a particular appreciation of your commitment. i'm also very grateful my former national guard unit served for a year. general bob livingston, training the afghan police and army units. it was the largest deployment from our state. 1,600 troops since world war ii. general, i agree with you, that the persons who serve there are very grateful and proud at their service. and they developed a great bond with the people of afghanistan. and identified them as afghan
6:08 am
brothers. i also have another identification with the two of you. i began my military career in the 1970s. and i believe just as both of you stated that we have the best troops ever. i know this firsthand. visiting fort jackson, i represent parris island, marine corps station, buford naval hospital, and then i'm also grateful, i have four sons currently serving in the military. so these truly are the best troops ever. and we want to back you up in every way we can with equipment and support. and i'm honored to serve with susan davis, military personnel backup families. general, the president set july 2011 as when the u.s. troops will begin to redeploy out of afghanistan. is this a conditions-based target that will be ajust if the afghan security forces or afghan government is not ready?
6:09 am
is the process conditions based? and what are those conditions? >> sir, i view it is a solid decision the president has made. and i operate under the assumption that we will begin to decrease our forces beginning in july of 2011. but i do that in the context that the president is also providing the people of afghanistan a long-term strategic partnership, a guarantee that we are going to be partners with them over the long haul and help them continue to protect their security and their sovereignty. i think that while everything is conditions based,ive think it will be informed by conditions we're about to put 30,000 more americans and additional coalition forces and go hard at this insurgency over the next 18 months, between now and june 2011. my expectation is, the insurgency will be less robust in the summer of 2011, significantly so. and it's also my expectation
6:10 am
that the afghan national security forces will be morrow bust. they will still be imperfect, but they will be more robust. i think i see confidently in the summer of 2007 that beginning the reduction of forces will be appropriate. the pace and scope of which i think needs to be conditions based. i think it goes back to how strong is the insurgency at that point. what is the pace we've seen and the growth of afghan's ability to provide for their own support. and then i think the last one is the minds of the afghan people. at that point, i hope to have convinced the afghan people, not myself, but this effort, i hope will have convinced the afghan people that their government is going to be successful here, and they will then make the decisions that increase their support. >> thank you very much. ambassador, you've identified, and with your background in the military, and also now serving
6:11 am
as ambassador, you say that there's progress in afghanistan. could you tell us about roads, schools, medical access, cell phone usage? >> yeah. the -- in many of those areas you've pointed to, and we could go beyond, congressman, indeed, there has been extraordinary progress. take education. in the dark years of 2001, there was only 1 million children in afghanistan going to school. and they were all boys. and they had a certain type of education, that they were being delivered. now there's about 6.5 million children going to school. about 35% of those are women. we've gone from very little access in 2001 to health care, and that's been extended, now basic health care, to about 80% of the country. and we could go on. these are areas of great socioeconomic progress. it should give us confidence that if we get the proper strategy, that we have things to build upon. and i do believe that we've got
6:12 am
the proper strategy right now. >> it's been reported there are no roads in afghanistan. of course, i've seen the paved roads. could you tell us the level of success there? >> yeah. there's been -- there has been great progress that's been made. there's several thousand kilometers of paved roads. one of the areas we're emphasizing in our agricultural program is putting a lot of effort into farm-to-market roads. and so yes, there's been great progress in developing the transportation infrastructure of afghanistan over the last several years. >> thank you. >> thank the gentleman. before calling the gentleman from pennsylvania, general mcchrystal, very briefly, can you identify the officer seated behind you? >> sir, these are members of my staff. of course, we've got bill rafferty from the uk, to his right i've got our communications officer rear admiral greg smith. i've got one of my two aides,
6:13 am
and then my executive officer, colonel charlie flynn. >> general, thank you. >> general mcchrystal, when you answered some questions from representative mckeon, you talked about your force planning and assessment of criteria, continually doing so. when president obama as commander in chief stated in march that our real goal here was al qaeda in pakistan, and then one of his three objectives was our partnership with pakistan, as you came up with your forces, was that part of the benchmarks for determining the proper number of troops? >> most of our assessment was -- for forces was what we recommended for inside afghanistan to create conditions that would be complementary to progress inside pakistan. so i think i'm answering your question here, we did not shape
6:14 am
our forces for anything inside pakistan. >> so the 35,000 taliban that are in pakistan were not part of your assess the of how many troops you might need to take care of those key population centers, even though the border is not recognized? >> not for operations inside pakistan. the forces we need inside afghanistan were, however, informed by conditions as we assess them inside pakistan. >> in the sense then your benchmarks are ones that as you assess what troops you need, then what the military prowess is of the pakistani counterinsurgency effort, and whether the adversary flows back and forth is part of your benchmarks for determining as we go forward, success or an alternative approach, or less or more troops? >> they are absolutely considerations, factors that we will take in terms of the
6:15 am
relative strength of the enemy and what we need to do. >> and were they part of your assessment? >>@@@@@@@@@ @ @ @ h,@ @ kn @ @üa >> for that objective which is our overall objective, they might not come back there. you have a classified form? >> i want to make sure i use the forms correctly. when i talk about the relative strength, those are considerations in our planning. benchmarks would mean the the metrics that we used to measure the situation. they are not dissimilar to you have benchmarks by which you will measure your progress with the 30 as an additional troops which will taken his overall objective which is al qaeda?
6:16 am
çóand getting the taliban on the other side? do you have the metrics for that? >> we have a lot of metric and we are still refining them into a mature benchmarks. >> they were good enough to come up with the troops but to have? >> they were. >> back in 2007, and iran worked toward similar objectives that we did in afghanistan. they did not want the sunni taliban-al qaeda there. v;what is your1jz÷0ñw ñ[xz ass, stanlt. they wanted to put in roads. what is your assessment today, three years later? >> on specific intelligence, i'd defer to general mcchrystal. but i would say at a broader strategic level, yes, iran, i would characterize in general, its policies with afghanistan as
6:17 am
one where they're certainly not trying to cause instability throughout the country, indeed, a return of the sunni regime to afghanistan. they would look at it obviously as would look at and obviously as against their security interest. and they probably have shared interest as well in trying to deal with the massive narcotrafficing problem that afflicts their own society. >> when you both joined up in vietnam, we had 5,000 usaid personnel and 7500 including contractors and others in vietnam. you have 3 or 400 today. my question is the defense department in the past since 2007 has cut its oda funding from 16% of overall oda to about 9%. has that money moved into the defense procurement or have you seen any of it flow over to you in order to do this civilian surge? and the monies intended to make
6:18 am
it happen? it is about $1.5 billion. have you seen that? >> congressman, i'm not aware of that in terms of the accounts from department of defense to department of state. what i would tell you now is that i'm very satisfied with the development budget that we have. i've put in a request for additional development funds. and that's being looked at right now. but i'm comfortable with the level of development assistance that we're providing to afghanistan and i'm very comfortable with the buildup of civilians we have on the ground. >> i thank the gentleman. mr. lobiondo? >> thank you, mr. chairman. and general mcchrystal and ambassador eikenberry, thank you for being here, thank you for your service and helping us better understand what is happening. i want to go back to the idea that we have talked about a little bit that the afghan population, general you said a few moments ago in response to
6:19 am
one of my colleagues that it was your hope that within a relatively short period of time you would be able to convince them that this was the right move on their behalf and that they would be with us. but aren't there big question marks when we have got a timeline in place with how the afghan people are going to react when there is such a threat of violence from the -- from al qaeda and taliban that are coming into these small villages and, you know, taking names? how are we going to convince them that we are -- this long-term commitment that you mentioned, you know, it seems to me there is some ambiguity here and there needs to be clarity for the people of afghanistan to understand our commitment and translate that into their support for us. can you comment on that? >> sir, most importantly they're going to judge us by our actions. and as we go down into areas where we have recently secured, the question back to us is
6:20 am
always are you going to stay this time? and when we respond the marines are asked this all the time and we say, yes, we are, sometimes they'll come back and say, but you didn't last time. so what they are really judging is not our rhetoric but our performance in staying and we do have a deficit of trust from that standpoint to make up because they know that the taliban can be trusted to at least make an effort to come back and coerce. what i think we need to -- this is a serious challenge, sir. but i think what we need to stress is, one, the effects we will have with increase in forces that we have. but more importantly the long-term partnership. that's really what they want. even down at the lowest level in villages, they're looking for long-term predictability in their lives and a long-term partnership with people who will help them. and us to help their government. so i think we should not be -- i think we should contest enemy
6:21 am
propaganda about timelines, but we should stress really the timeline that we are on is helping them in the long-term partnership. >> well, i appreciate that. i still think there is some gaps in connecting the dots between what the afghan people are hearing and understanding, considering their apprehension about our leaving and now hearing these things about 2011 that why shouldn't the enemy sit on their hands and then, you know, after the deadline ratchet up? and i, you know, i wish you all the success in the world and we hope that that comes together, but in the next couple of months, do you expect you're going to be able to have an ability to better explain this to the afghan people so that they're more on your side because, it seems like they don't depend on their own government. >> this is a challenge. but working with their government i think we can do a number of things. one of which is they don't --
6:22 am
they want to partnership, they want ainsuranssurance from us b don't want us to stay forever. they don't want foreigners in their country. in many ways, we will support them but not stay too long, that guarantee is actually a positive as well. so what we have got to convince them is we are going to help their government and their forces create conditions of security that will be reassuring and stable enough for them, and that we will have a long-term partnership with them that will make them feel comfortable to move in that direction. but i do go back. we have to prove that with our actions, not just with our words. >> and lastly, back to pakistan for a minute, i think it has been widely acknowledged that no matter how good we're doing that if the pakistanis don't step up to the plate, we got a real problem on our hands. i'm assuming there is a renewed intensive effort to convince
6:23 am
them to do more than they have done before, because we have only gotten rhetoric out of them in many cases. >> sir, i think that their recent actions over the last year or two against their own internal insurgency are really a good indicator of just how serious they are about conducting counterinsurgency operations and reducing instability on their side. i think that also pakistani leadership shares with us an understanding that instability on either side of the duran line threatens the others. so i don't believe that either afghanistan or pakistan can be fully stable or secure over the long haul if the other isn't. and i think that gives them shared strategic objectives. >> i think -- >> thank you. >> the gentle lady from maine, miss pingree. turn your microphone on, please. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chair. and thank you, both, for your
6:24 am
testimony today. i certainly appreciate all you've had to say. i probably am one of the members of the committee who has deep reservations about the president's suggestion and proposal and so let me take that perspective. i do want to thank you for your comments about our troops. i think that our troops are excellent. they're skilled, they're highly dedicated. from the state of maine we deployed half of our national guard so we're very well aware of their skills, the capabilities they bring as you say, the citizen soldiers being added to the mix. they add a lot. and they also have made tremendous sacrifices and their families have as well. and in our state it has had a huge impact, the number that have been deployed. but i do also want to say that while i understand the importance of you advocating for your mission before congress, i as a member of congress respecting the concerns of my own state also worry overall about the long-term cost and lives in particular and costs financially to this country, the
6:25 am
increase in the deficit and the great need during this recession to provide some of the very assistance we're providing across the globe here at home. so i balance these concerns overall, not just in the mission before us. but i do want to say as i look over the troop levels of the last four years, i see two things. i see a steady increase over time in the number of american troops on the ground, and second i think we can all agree that part of the reason we're here today is because during the same part of time period we have seen a resurgence of the taliban and many have asked about that today. we have seen a great increase in the number of lives lost projected increases even further in the future, continual increase in the amount of resource spent on this conflict, and no net improvement in the security situation. so in my opinion we have reached a security plateau where no matter how many troops we commit, how many dollars we spend, how many aid workers we send, or elections that we have or rehave in afghanistan, we cannot significantly improve the security situation.
6:26 am
with all due respect, it seems to me sometimes like we're trying to kill bees with a bigger baseball bat and as it gets bigger, it doesn't seem to work, it is only a bigger bat. so when i hear more proposals about adding troops in afghanistan, my immediate question is what historic successes do we have? i know you've answered many questions today about the strategy, about the ways of going about it, but i have to emphasize that i don't see over history how this will work, how it will continue to work. i have deep hopes since i think this may well proceed with or without my approval, that you are able to succeed. but if you're not in 12 months, will we be back here saying well, there was a miscalculation, we should have done this, we could have done that, what will you do if it doesn't succeed? but more importantly, historically, how do you convince me that this could work and is worth the cost? >> insurgencies are very difficult to deal with. and if you go back and study
6:27 am
counterinsurgency, you'll find a tremendous number of unsuccessful efforts to defeat an insurgency. the reason i believe we can defeat this insurgency and the reason i believe there is great reason for optimism is, one, the nature of the insurgency. this insurgency was a group that was in power, the most prominent part of the taliban, and they were not incredible in power and they are not credible as a political entity now. so they are not the national liberation front of afghanistan coming back to free the country. in polling data in my own anecdotal discussions, almost every day with afghans, both in cities, they don't want the taliban back. the only time they accept the taliban is with reluctance as a reality, not as a desire. so what they would like is help. i think the other thing about counterinsurgency is as we study it and we learned more about it, when you lag in insurgency, when
6:28 am
insurgency grows it like a fire in a house. if the fire starts and you can put it out immediately, or in your kitchen with a small fire extinguisher, that's what it takes. if you ignore it or don't do that quickly enough, and it is into several rooms, suddenly the requirement to put the fire out has gotten larger. in many ways that happens in many insurgencies. and in afghanistan, because the insurgency grew as a recovered after 2001 but slowly until 2005, that grew, that shadow governance, the presence among the people was not met by increases in afghan national security force strength levels or in coalition forces. so what i'm saying is we lagged behind that. we have a saying as we studied this that counterinsurgency is not a game where you play catch-up ball. i think we can get ahead of it this time. >> thank you.
6:29 am
>> i thank the gentle lady. mr. kline. >> thank you for being here. general mcchrystal, i want to be perfectly clear and get this on the record. i believe you responded to the ranking member, mr. mckeon, one of my colleagues, when asked about the july 2011 date if that was a date that you had proposed or recommended. >> i did not recommend that date. but i did identify to my leadership that i felt that 18 -- in about 18 months, about december of 2011, that we felt we could make significant progress against this insurgency. >> i understand, excuse me. but you didn't recommend that such a date be put out there and announced. i want to be clear about that. >> no, congressman, i didn't. >> okay. thank you. i notice that in discussing this date that you felt that there were those who opposed us, the enemy presumably, would seize upon this for information
6:30 am
warfare and, quote, we can deal with it. let me just say that i hope and pray that we can deal with it, because i think it is a problem for you. and i do think that it has put ambiguity out there that we heard from both sides of the aisle today. and we're hearing from our constituents and the american people. they don't know what that date means. i've listened very carefully to you and to admiral mullen and to you and to admiral mullen and to secretary gates@@@@@ @ @ @ @ @ r >> moving to another subject which i find interesting and amazing has to do with what ar our hope for outcome is produced that we have the right strategy and the right resources. i was delighted to hear that. i have great confidence in you and have had since we met the first time in some remote corner
6:31 am
in baghdad where you were doing a fantastic job. what is it we have the right strategy and the right resources to do? is that to win? >> i believe it is to let the afghan people win. >> ok, and is there an important difference there? we are asking our sons and daughters, literally in some cases, to fight, 30,000 more of them. are we asking them to win? ce there? we're asking our sons and daughter literally in some cases to go over there and fight, 30,000 more of them. are we asking them to go over and win? >> we're asking to go over and be on the winning team. the reason i parse this is because the afghans are the ultimate winners here. >> i understand that. i think the parsing is interesting because it seems to be consistent that whether it is admiral mullen who i asked whenever we had the last hearing here a few days ago if we were seeking victory and he said, no,
6:32 am
it is success. well, i don't understand why we're parsing these words success and victory and win, but it seems to be consistently coming from that table. now, secretary gates reportedly said this weekend, quote, we are in this thing to win, unquote, when talking to our men and women in afghanistan. and i certainly think that's right and i certainly hope that's the message that we are portraying to the men and women that we're sending over there, that they're going over there to win. and i guess my question to you is is there some guidance from somewhere to all of you that says we can't use the words when or victory? >> not that i have received. >> okay. outstanding. i'm very pleased to hear that. because i don't -- just amaze we got into this parsing business. i would have been perfectly happy to see success and victory and win until i started discussions with people who preceded you in the panel and
6:33 am
you and those words win and victory don't come out. you say at least we're helping the afghans win but i really hope there is no -- there is no direction or command or guidance that says we can't use those words because i think it is important for our men and women in that uniform to know that they're going to win. and then finally, because my time is running out very, very rapidly, i want to pick up on the points that mr. andrews and some others made and that's about pakistan and the importance of pakistan and the importance of our winning, succeeding, having victory in afghanistan of not letting the taliban take control in afghanistan, the importance of that to pakistan. it is your judgment that should we fail in afghanistan, should the taliban re-emerge, pakistan and its nuclear weapons and its democracy would be in grave danger? >> i believe it would be a significant threat to pakistan were the taliban to succeed in
6:34 am
afghanistan. >> thank you very much. my time has expired. i yield back. >> i thank the gentleman. mr. kissell? >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you, gentlemen, for being here today. and general mcchrystal, i want to go back. you said that three biggest challenges you felt we had was the growing an army, the governance and the afghan palme themselves. and i like to give both of you comments on this and i ask you the same question, i was in afghanistan back in early november. the sense of afghan nationalism versus all the other influences of tribal, history, religion, is there a strong enough sense of nationalism that the afghans will come together as a nation and pull this thing off with us providing the security? >> i do believe that's the case. when i first went to afghanistan in 2002, congressman, i knew very little about the country. one of the big surprises i got back in 2002 was to get a better
6:35 am
sense of afghan nationalism. they have tribal identities. they have community identities. but to an extent, i find an extraordinary afghan when asked who are they, they are an afghan and they're very proud of -- they're very proud of their afghan identity. there is much to build upon there. >> that's absolutely the case. and we deal with afghans and you say, well, what are you, they say, well, i'm an afghan. much of the ethnic divides that we hear so much about now really came at the end of the fight against the soviets with the rise of warlords in the civil war. and most afghans want to repair that and get behind them. >> second question, the same line of thinking of the governor ans. one thing mentioned to us a lot when were visiting last time was a new developing classification, people in the ministers.
6:36 am
and while we have concerns about president karzai, mr. ambassador, if you could address that briefly for me, please. >> as i said earlier, congressman, there really is a very impressive group of ministers right now in the afghan cabinet. and, indeed, their president karzai's ministers. he does get the credit for naming of those ministers, finance, commerce, health. i could go on. and he's also committed very publicly in his inauguration speech to improve upon the quality of those important ministries. we're waiting to -- for his announcements to be made. we expect the first round will be within the next several days. we have a degree of confidence they'll be improvements in the central government. >> thank you, sir. general, in building the afghan security forces, this is getting into a detailed level, but i think it is important, one of the areas we hear the
6:37 am
difficulties is that only, like, 10%, i believe of the afghan military force is literate. and so to have them learning skills, reading maps, doing the basic day to day, how are you coping with that in terms of building this force? >> that's an important point. one is literacy training and not only is that important to help make the force better, but it also is very popular. and it helps get people in the service and it helps keep them in the service and makes them a stronger service so we are ruining literacy programs. the other thing about it, though, when people say ill literal peopli literate people can't fight, i remind them that the taliban is illiterate. it is not automatically a defining ability to be a good soldier. >> i thank you, all, for being here. and i would like to finish with just a comment. and i've spent some time with general fields, c guard, i think that's so important that we do monitor our commitments in the
6:38 am
civilian areas, what we build, what we do, to make sure we're giving the people what they need, what they want, and are getting the input from the afghan leaders. it is just so important. thank you so much, and i yield back, mr. chairman. >> i thank the gentleman. mr. conaway? >> good morning. or afternoon, now. thank you, sir. thank you, mr. chairman. general, the numbers of afghan security forces both police and military between 300 and 400,000 have been thrown around. the 300,000 being key to next summer. do we have the billetts in place to train 300,000 or the differential between where we are now assuming some of them are properly trained to get to that number? and then on a long-term basis, president karzai said today it is going to be 15 years before he can afford to maintain that force on his own. so ambassador, if you'll talk to us about how we're going to pay for this force of 300,000 to 400,000 or who is going to pay
6:39 am
for it and can we get there by this time next summer or by next summer? >> sir, we're at about 180 and 190,000 assigned between the afghan army and police right now. and we'll continue to grow up on and a -- that they can meet, how fast can they recruit and train. we'll take a significant force out of what the president just approved and put that into what we call initial entry training at the training base this and will help our capacity grow immediately along with our coalition partners who also put people into that command, nato training mission in afghanistan. and then over the long haul, the rest of the development of the force, in fact, most of the development occurs when they're in units. that's by partnering with our force which is, again, a simple tenet of the strategy as we go forward. >> we can talk about the 300,000, about 300,000, i think, next summer in place? >> we won't be there by next summer.
6:40 am
we will be by next fall of 2010 we expect to be about 134,000 in the police, and just maybe a little over 100,000 in the -- i'm sorry in the army, a little over 100,000 in the police. it would take another year, summer of 2011, before we would talk about a combined number of 300,000. >> ambassador, how does the afghan government pay for this increased force? >> three points if i could, congressman. i saw president karzai's comment this morning as a result of his meeting he had with secretary gates. fi first point is clearly the united states of america very important allies, we're going to need to have a long-term security assistance relationship with afghanistan. we're going to need to provide support, training support, budgetary support, we know, in the years ahead. we don't know exactly at this point in time, of course what that level would be. the second would be very importantly in our programs in afghanistan, we are working hard right now to help afghanistan's
6:41 am
economy move forward so they can have more autonomy. our agriculture, we're helping to develop revenue collection systems so we're cognizant of having the afghan economy and government move in directions they're going to be able to pay for. third point here, i don't know exactly what the ratio of cost is for an afghan soldier to an american marine or army soldier deployed in afghanistan, maybe 1 to 25, maybe 1 to 50, it is at a ratio right now where obviously it make good sense if you're only looking at the finances of this to invest more in the afghan national army and to have the afghan police and army defending their own country. >> ambassador, 970 plus of 100,000, how many of them sleep in kabul? >> right now out in the field -- >> that's more than i thought it would be. >> it has been a very impressive gain. >> general, one final, you've
6:42 am
been beat to death about the head and shoulders about these numbers, but let me ask you one other different way. you're going to get 30,000. your focus is on population centers. if you had 40,000, what is that differential in terms of population centers that won't get the attention that it would have gotten with 40. are those communities going to be left to the taliban until we get to them later? what is the cut on that? >> congressman, the key thing is i'm going to get at least 37,000 with coalition forces and what i recommended did not say u.s., it said forces. so i'm really just about what i -- >> but are you confident those additional,0 7,000 will come wi the limited number of caveats that you can put them where they need to go? >> i think we'll be in good shape. >> so the effect on population centers will be few communities or how do we understand that? >> i think it will be very small because as we laid out this, we
6:43 am
focused on the south and east, but we also were going to put small parts of the forces elsewhere. i think between the 37,000 and the fact that they are flowing very quickly that we're going to be able to cover the areas we need to. >> general, thank you very much. i trust you. >> thank you very much. we have four votes have been called and the gentlemen, our witnesses have to leave at 12:30. we have time for mr. nye and mr. hunter to ask one quick question. mr. nye, you're on for five minutes, quickly. >> try to be quick. thank you, both for being here today and thank you for your service to our country. before swearing into congress this year, i spent some time with civilians in afghanistan and iraq. i'm left with two clear impressions during this process from my experience in the field, that's one, i am absolutely confident in the capabilities of both our military forces and our civilian forces to successfully
6:44 am
run a counterinsurgency program in afghanistan. but my other impression is i'm left with a very serious concern about the fact that our success here is largely dependent on what happened on other side of the border in pakistan where our civilian -- to a large extent and our military forces are not really present. recognizing you're not responsible, either of you, specifically for issues that concern areas outside of afghanistan, general, i wonder if you could comment on the additional forces sent what kind of capability did they give us to control the ability of our enemies, to cross that border, and harm our mission in afghanistan? >> we will put some of the force along the border, some partnering with the afghan border police, some operating in regular military locate, but the bulk of our forces will be protecting the population. what it will really do is if elements come from across the border what they won't be able to do is get at their objective
6:45 am
which is the people and the key population centers. i think it is a denial that really upsets their entire ability to operate their strategy, which is @@@@@@@ @ á
6:46 am
ask me what is our number one challenge on the civilian side right now, it is at the local level, trying to figure out as we go through the mantra now the approach of clear, hold, build, but the transfer. this is probably our biggest challenge right now as we go into rural areas of afghanistan or population centers in the south, in the eastern afghanistan our military forces move in. how do we get to that point that we can actually transfer governance responsibility, deliver of services to the afghan people? this is one of our greatest challenges. >> thank you very much. appreciate that. mr. chairman, i yield back. >> i thank the gentleman. mr. hunter? >> thank you, mr. chairman for the opportunity to squeeze in a question here. i thank the gentlemen for being here. we all talk about critical enablers and how short we are on those enablers. we mentioned over and over again
6:47 am
we're short on rotary wing aircraft, counteried stuff now, short on trainers, short on isrs, short on civilians, short on infrastructure like hangars, things like that, so you add 30,000 troops, then what? how do you identify who will be the enabler and who will not be and this july 2011 timeline compared to your troop cap of 30,000 or 33,000 or 40,000, whatever it is going to be, that's going to be a hard and fast troop cap. you're going to have to say, general, grunt, you go home because i want a new imagery analyst out here. how are you going to make that distinction and what is going to make you decide when it comes to enablers, or actual combat troops? >> actually it is a great position to be in from the standpoint of if i get to shape the force and what we need more of and what we don't need. of the 30,000 right now, my anticipation is a tremendous percentage of that will be
6:48 am
enablers. rotary wing, intelligence, combat engineers and what not. we are going to -- it is my intent to move significant combat forces which will provide security, but because everything is a team at this point, the distinction starts to blur between whether a rotary wing aviation is an enabler or a combat force. i'm very comfortable that within that force i'll be able to shape it and what i would expect to do is over time continue to shape it. i expect and general petraeus and i talk about this, over time, to be shaping our brigades into advise and assist brigades, which are slightly different structure and it is what we have gone to in iraq. it allows you to have a more robust ability to partner with host nation forces than you do in just a straight normal structure. >> in the interest of time here, we don't have the assets now for counter-ied. 80% of your casualties are ied
6:49 am
casualties. you don't have the enablers now. you flood in 30,000 people, young americans, we can't do it now, why are you optimistic you'll have the enablers to do it then when you start flooding the theater with more people? >> the counterto ieds is security. there is no isr. there is no engineer asset. there is no technical jammer that defeats ieds completely. so what you have to do is secure an area. that's when ieds go away. when you start to get security in the locals start turning in ied locations or preventing them, that's what it does. you do all those things at the same time. and i was visiting engineers who were grievously wounded in afghanistan yesterday at walter reed and they make unbelievable contributions to this. but they need to be part of a team that produces security in an entire area. so that's what i think the shaping of this force will allow us to do. >> lastly then, when you look at
6:50 am
this, for instance a marine corps regimental combat team, vu to tell them you might have to leave some people back because you don't fall under this specific troop cap. because they have an actual number they have, you're going to say, no, you only get 5,322 people, not 5,327 people. how are you going to micromanage that and should you really be doing that? why not let the marine corps bring its whole regimental combat team? you won't be able to do that now under this hard and fast troop cap. >> yeah, we always do that, though. we grow up. i grew up as a paratrooper and who you put on the airplane, you got a certain number of seats and you take people based upon what the mission is on the ground and you decide it. it is the same thing at large levels. in the marines, the regimental combat team and the meds are all carefully crafted for the mission at hand. and they do an extraordinarily good job at doing that. that's why they're so effective on the ground. i'm pretty comfortable i won't have to micromanage, i'll be able to work with all of the
6:51 am
players and say here's the mission we're doing, but here are some constraints you got to live within and do the best you can there. >> i thank the gentleman. we appreciate you being with us, your testimony. the young man, young women in uniform today are the finest american troops ever. i'm convinced. i'm also convinced that the leadership that we have provided by general mcchrystal and ambassador eikenberry are the finest. that we in america can provide. i hope that you will stay in touch, tell us in this committee what you need, tell us what your recommendations are, and we wish you the very, very best and godspeed. thank you.
6:52 am
>> you could watch this hearing by visiting our web site. also there, president obamas speech last week outlining the u.s. strategy in the country which includes the deployment of 30,000 additional u.s. troops. that and more at [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2009] >> senate democratic leaders announced last night they have agreed to changes in the health care bill that would extend health care to millions of people. although few details were released, news organizations are reporting that the so-called public option will beñr droppedn favor of a private insurance arrangements over existing federal agencies. this is five minutes.
6:53 am
>> tonight, we have overcome some hurdles we had. many have assumed the people of different perspectives cannot come together. we were able to work out in the last two days has culminated tonight and delays that fact. -- belies at fact. i talked 20 minutes to go to doug eldora. mendorf. i talked to the head of the cbo that we will send something to them. i went over in some detail about
6:54 am
what we are authorized to say about what we will send him. we will write it up and legislative language. he said the same as when you sent over the last bill, he said that when you start talking about the plan and start shipping iran, it will be made public and we do not want that to be the case. we want to know the score before we start giving all the details to our own members. you will not get answers to those questions. i asked senator schumer and senator pryor to work together with the group of moderates and progressives. everyone thought it was an impossible job. these two fine senators have done an outstanding job of leading these two groups of people. everyone knows who the 10 are,
6:55 am
that they have worked hard for days now. this is a consensus that will help insure the american people in many ways. one way is that insurance companies will certainly have more competition and two, the american people will have more choices. i already know that all 60 senators do not agree on every piece of the legislation. i know what we sent over to the cbo, i will send to them to mark, not everyone will agree to every piece we send over to them. that does not mean that we disagree on what we sent to them. i applaud and congratulate the 10 senators led by senator schumer and senator pryor. is important to mention their names.
6:56 am
as i have indicated, we cannot disclose the details of what we have done. we have something that is good and i think is very -- for us, it moves this bill would down the road. çó>> you gave us the details earlier today. can you tell us if any of those have dramatically changed. ? >> we will not talk about it for the reasons that senator reid said. things change all the time. >> we have seen all kinds of articles in the newspapers. i have said things. as elmendorf hasñi said, all the things you have seen in the newspapers, the public option is gone. it is not true.
6:57 am
we're not going into detail but you have heard this point and you will be surprised what we sent to the cbo. we have reached agreement. >> would you share abroad bullet points of what is in there? >> no, i did that. i said we will let more choices for the consumer, more competition for the insurance companies. >> will you end up with a positive? >> i talked lots of times today. she's at dinner now with step. a couple more questions than we will quit. >what we talked to some of the people led the charge here. mark? with this having been done --
6:58 am
>> the end is in sight. >> the answer is yes. [laughter] >> senator reid, senator reid, on the cbo -- >> congress continues to examine the president's afghanistan strategy today when the senate committee hears from general david petraeus, the head of central command and the u.s. ambassador to afghanistan, karl eikenberry. also live this afternoon, a senate homeland security subcommittee looking into how the government insures diplomatic security. the state's apartment -- the state department spends nearly $3 billion per year that is live
6:59 am
at 2:30 p.m., eastern. today on c-span, "washington journalñi"is next live with your phone calls. that is followed by our coverage of the u.s. house. today, members are scheduled to work on changes to tax rolls at financial industry regulations. in about half an hour, analysis of proposed health care legislation with congressional quarterly. then the international union discusses president obamas jobs policy at 8:00, eastern. we will talk


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on